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MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Coast riding high
in league, rugby
Two whitebaiters managed to
escape a Hari Hari bach that was
silently filling with gas yesterday
morning. The Greymouth based
NZCC Rescue Helicopter was called
to the Wanganui River mouth to
attend to the pair, who had suffered
gas inhalation. “It appears there was
a gas leak from an LPG fridge,”
pilot Martin Shaw said. “Both men
managed to exit the whitebaiters’ hut
before phoning emergency ser vices.”
A 63-year-old man was subsequently
flown to Grey Base Hospital.
Youths roll van
Police suspect a group of youths
was responsible for tipping a parked
van on to its side in Greymouth,
overnight on Friday. The incident
took place outside the new
recreation centre construction site,
in Shakespeare Street. Also on
Friday night, police were called to a
nearby property in the same street,
after reports that four males had
broken a trampoline.
Large sums of cash in different
currencies were stolen during
a burglary of a Ross house on
Saturday. Police said the offender
had searched bedrooms and the
kitchen, probably during the day.
Rain spreading from north
It is enough to make many a
patriotic member of the MCC spit
out their gin and tonic. Cricket did
not originate in England — but
was first played on a village green in
France, historical records suggest. A
letter to King Louis XI from 1478,
which may contain the first known
reference to cricket — or ‘criquet ’
— almost a century before experts
believe it arrived in England on a
village green in Guildford, Surrey.
The note, preserved in France’s
national archives, mentions ‘boules’,
or balls, and ‘criquet ’, a wooden post,
in a description of a game played
in the village of Liettres, northern
France. The letter was penned by
a young man called Estiavannet,
who watched with fascination at
the strange game before a player
barked: ‘ Why are you staring at our
ball game?’. A violent scuffle ensued,
and one man died. The revelations
challenge claims cricket was purely
an English creation. — Daily Mail
West Coasters could pay again
for the bitterly cold winter —
with a poor whitebait season.
The West Coast fishing season
opens at dawn tomorrow, but one
of the biggest whitebait buyers
in South Westland says he is not
holding his breath for a bountiful
“This winter has been the
coolest we have had for some
time and it will definitely have an
effect on the season,” Curly Tree
Whitebait Company owner Tony
Kerr, of Haast, said.
Even a day out from the
opening, those setting up were
few and far between, suggesting
a lack of confidence in early
improve as the weather and river
temperatures warmed up.
“ Traditionally, the whitebait
season is better later, but how it
is really going to go is anyone’s
guess,” Mr Kerr said.
Things have been just as quiet
at the other end of the Coast,
with few people staking out their
possies on Buller rivers.
Westport whitebaiter Lynley
Roberts said the rain and cooler
weather this winter was probably
keeping whitebaiters and the
“Everything has been pretty
quiet. There haven’t been too
many reports of people seeing
whitebait in the Buller River.
The odd person has spotted the
occasional large shoal, but there
hasn’t really been much around,”
Ms Robert said.
“ We had a good season last
year and we are all hopeful of a
good season this year. But it ’s all
weather dependent, and with the
El Nino weather forecast here
until Christmas, it may not be so
good. Time will tell.”
Department of Conser vation
rangers are already policing the
rivers for compliance with the
whitebait fishing regulations and
making sure no one is tempted to
jump the gun.
“The forecast for the season,
however, is not that good and
with a wet spring expected the
whitebait may not be as plentiful
as people would hope,” Hokitika
ranger Shane Cross said.
Veteran Hokitika whitebaiter
Barry Veale said he had been
down to the river a couple of times
and “hadn’t seen a whitebait ”.
“The odd stand is being set up,
but really things are not looking
all that good at the moment.
The river mouth is no good —
the spit goes right across it, so
if any whitebait come up the
river they will go straight up the
Mr Veale said whitebaiters were
probably waiting for the snow to
clear on the mountains before
starting to build their stands.
Cobden whitebaiter Kevin
Herring has been keeping an eye
on the Grey River but said there
was very little about at this early
“There’s been the odd shoal
but nothing great, plus the sea
is pretty rough at the moment,
which isn’t helping the river,” Mr
He noted about a dozen hardy
fishermen had staked out their
fishing rocks on the Greymouth
side of the river, and a couple on
the Cobden side.
“The weather this season is
going to play a big part. We are in
for a wet spring, which is likely to
make it an average season.”
Fergusons reach end of the road
PICTURE: Paul McBride
A 70-year association with the West Coast came to an end today with the closure of the Sicon Ferguson contracting depots at Greymouth, Otira and Whataroa
— a nd the loss of 50 jobs. It was the ‘last supper’ for Greymouth staff this morning as they joined together for a barbecue breakfast at the South Beach site.
Ferguson Brothers contracting was started by brothers Mackley and Ron Ferguson in 1945, but is now owned by the Selwyn District Council company Sicon,
which decided to pull out of the West Coast altogether when it lost the State highways contract to rival Fulton Hogan.
Both South Westland GPs resign
The two South Westland GPs have
resigned after just four months in the
job, but the West Coast District Health
Board assures they will be replaced.
The board revealed earlier this month
it was reviewing South Westland health
General manager Grey-Westland
Mark Newsome said separate to the
review, the husband and wife GP team
of Jenny James and Robin Barraclough
had resigned and would be finishing in
“ We are beginning a recruitment
process to replace them now and they
will be replaced — there is no question
of not having GPs in South Westland,”
Mr Newsome said.
The review would instigate a “more
visible and formal nurse leadership role
to provide guidance” in the region.
A nurse practitioner role had been
proposed to provide additional
oversight and support to the rural
nurse specialists from Hari Hari to
Haast, and also to assist the GPs, who
were based at the Franz Josef Glacier
“In addition, we need to provide
more workable coverage for leave, to
ensure that communities remain staffed
Mr Newsome said the board would
prefer to discuss the outcomes of the
consultation with staff first, and then
with the community, where appropriate.
“ We plan to have these conversations
with staff soon.”
New details of the proposed
new Taramakau road bridge have
been revealed — including the
fact trains and cars will not need
to give way to each other.
The existing bridge will remain,
but solely for trains.
downstream, will also have room
The NZ Transport Agency said
today the rail line coming from
the south, on the Kumara side,
would be redirected through a
boxed culvert, with the realigned
highway to the road bridge to go
over the top of it, avoiding the
need to give way to trains.
Exploratory drilling got under
way last week, but NZTA has
reiterated that it is subject to
finance being confirmed.
Father, son knocked out in assault
A father and son were knocked out
in an unprovoked attack outside the
Recreation Hotel, in Greymouth, on
The pair had been attending a sports
function at the hotel and were leaving
when the younger man was suddenly
attacked. The father came to his aid but
was felled by a punch and knocked out
when his head struck the concrete.
Police confirmed that both men were
punched in the head and knocked
out in the 12.30am assault. They were
both taken to Greymouth Hospital by
ambulance where they were treated
for moderate to serious face and head
injuries, senior sergeant Allyson Ealam
The older man suffered a broken jaw.
A man in his 20s was arrested soon
after and charged with the double
Buller and northern Westland
residents have been told to brace for
severe easterly gales from this evening,
with damaging gusts of up to 140kph
“It has the hallmarks ... of Cyclone
Ita,” West Coast civil defence regional
manager Chris Raine said this morning,
referring to the cyclone in Easter 2014
that left a swathe of damage and felled
forests from Karamea to Whataroa.
The strongest winds are expected to
hit Buller about midnight, extending
into northern Westland about dawn.
The forecast gales come as a “deepening
low pushes against the blocking high to
the south-east of New Zealand ”.
If they are as bad as the Metservice
expects, the Coast can expect damage
to structures and power lines.
Mr Raine said loose material and
objects should be put away, and
“The winds of this strength may cause
power outages. Buller civil defence has
He had also spoken to the Fire
The winds should ease about mid-
Northern West Coast braced for gales
Rail, car traffic separated
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